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February 2010

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Well doctor, what could it be?

Tuesday I spent a pleasant morning toting the buggy round Silves, discovering little things I didn’t know I wanted in the Chinese shop and Lidl, as you do. Got home around lunchtime, pleasant lunch in front of the TV, upstairs for some internet surfing. Oh, I forgot to mention, the buggy contained a nearly three-year-old girl with unbrushed unwashed snotty dinnery hair, big puffy red eyes, scabby cheeks from wiping snot and a permanent wail. And, of course, Polly Pink, also with unwashed unbrushed snotty dinnery fur. Not wailing though, thank goodness.

Claudia is not well. She hasn’t been right for maybe a week and it has been escalating. She has moaned her way round Silves with me, under three blankets, still in her pyjamas. We’ve got back to the house and she has moaned her way under a duvet on the sofa, only getting up to show me exactly which DVD she wants on as I have no idea which the one the ‘sheeps!’ one is. She has insisted on a cuddle, which I have managed by wedging the yoghurt I am trying to eat for lunch in the duvet folds, holding on to her with on hand and eating with the other. Finally she has fallen asleep, only to wake up an hour later with a temperature. This is the signal to go to the doctors.

So, back in the buggy, blankets, Polly Pink, water, check, check, check. We walk down to the Centro do Saude. The usual emergency room is now given over to Swine Flu and we have to go round the other side of the building where they have been forced to give up three consultation rooms and two reception desks for the new emergency suite. It is much more pleasant, and long may it last, but honestly; the swine flu clinic is empty! What a waste.

After explaining Claudia’s symptoms to the receptionist and noting the big sign telling me to go to the swine flu clinic if I have a cough and a temperature, I check that I am in the right place. She assures me I am, and that I will be seen within 15 mins so I have plenty of time to walk over to the other side of Silves to pick Jay up from school. So when 3 o’clock arrives and I am still waiting, I quickly text Dad and ask if he could pick Jay up and drop him over to me.

Finally we get seen. Roll Claudia and buggy into the consultation room, explain symptoms, Doctor takes one look at her and tells me to take her to the swine flu clinic. We are not impressed. Back out of the building, round to the designated area. Call Dad to check on progress.

“Oh, I can’t, love, I’m just waiting for Mum to get out of the toilet so I can ask her.”
“Well, let me know asap, I’ve been sent to the swine flu clinic, so I could go up and get him before I go in, but over to Jay’s school and back again is a long way, so I’d appreciate the help!”

Mum gets out of the toilet and is met by Dad. “Claudia’s got swine flu, could you pick Jay up from school?”

“Mum’s on her way.”

So we roll into the clinic. Where we are met with hostility. –Why are you here? What are your symptoms? What level of fever? – I had to explain we’d been sent by the doctor to get an ungracious okay to enter. On with the masks. Wash hands. Roll though, poked, prodded etc etc. Left for ten mins. Moved to another room, another doctor, poked, prodded, etc etc. Finally someone thinks to look down her throat and we hear the magic words “Throat infection!”

She’s prone to these things. We should take out shares in Clavamox.

Comments

At least it's not swine flu. Hope she recovers soon.